Cone-free anti-frizz hair products?
February 11, 2018 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I have very thick Caucasian hair with very loose S-waves. It’s frizzy and poofy and huge. Usually it can only be tamed in a tight braid or bun. I used to use anti-frizz products with silicones, but noticed that I get much less facial acne since going cone-free. Is there a good leave-in product that will defrizz and deflate my hair without silicones?

My hair is about bra-band length. Any shorter, and it poofs out so much that I look like a mushroom. It’s thick enough that coloring it takes 3 boxes of dye, and every haircut involves the stylist exclaiming “Wow, you have a lot of hair!”

My usual routine is to do a conditioner-only wash every third day or so. I use Suave Naturals conditioner. Expensive rinse-out conditioner is a no-go, because my hair is so long and thick that I need to use 1-2 handfuls of conditioner every time. (That’s why I’m asking for a leave-in product.) I use a wet/dry brush to comb the conditioner through, which cuts down a lot on breakage compared to finger-combing.

I usually wash my hair at night, wrap it in a towel, comb it, and let it air-dry while I sleep. I typically braid it every morning before work, with hair ties securing top and bottom of the braid; occasionally I’ll put it in a bun using spin pins (I need 4 spin pins to hold it, if that tells you how thick my hair is). I very rarely blow-dry it; blow-drying takes forever and I don’t have that kind of time every morning. I haven’t flat-ironed it in years. (Flat-ironing it just made it straight and poofy. It never reduced the volume at all.)

I’d like to be able to wear it down or half-up sometimes, but it’s always just too poofy and frizzy.

I used to like Garnier Fructis products for anti-frizz, but had terrible cystic pimples on my forehead and temples the whole time. Since switching to Suave Naturals, the pimples are almost totally gone. When I recently visited my parents and borrowed my mom’s John Frieda anti-frizz conditioner, I broke out again. No changes in birth control, diet, etc. I really think it’s the silicones in the hair products.

So I’m asking: Do you have a good leave-in product that is cone-free, otherwise non-comedogenic, and will really knock down the frizz and poof?

(Note that I’ve tried coconut oil as a hair treatment and it majorly broke my face out. It also really angered my scalp; I have dandruff that is really seborrheic dermatitis, and oils with high saturated fatty acid content seem to feed it. I’m willing to try hair oils, but not coconut.)
posted by snowmentality to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I get this at Hair Cuttery and other places ... it's in a small circle-shaped bottle. I put it in after I've squeeged the bulk of the water out of my hair but it's still damp. My hair is thick and wavy (cut into layers to emphasize the wave) and is a few inches below my shoulders.

This is the kind of brush I use to "squeege" out my hair ... I wash in the morning about two hours before I have to leave the house, then it's mostly dry by the time I get to where I need to be. I put one and a half pumps on my mid to lower hair sections, and about half a pump on my scalp and top hair (my "bangs" are to below my chin but I wear my hair back or loose).
posted by tilde at 12:18 PM on February 11, 2018

I also live in a VERY humid environment, so I tip the brush against a small room fan to dry out by next use.
posted by tilde at 12:22 PM on February 11, 2018

I had this problem too, and Bumble + Bumble's Curl Conscious Curl Defining Creme works for me.

(and now I notice that it's suuuper expensive because it's discontinued. that is SUCH a bummer, it's really the best stuff ever. Here is the new version which I have not tried so can't truthfully endorse.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:40 PM on February 11, 2018

I was going to say coconut oil, but that had other issues. Have you tried jojoba oil? Refractionated coconut oil might work, too.
posted by kellyblah at 1:08 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

i don't have a product suggestion but i have similar hair and i wash it at night, comb it, put some (cone-containing: aveda be curly curl enhancer) product in, and put it in a very high bun and sleep on it that way. It's still pretty damp in the morning. if you're sleeping with it loose i wonder if that is making it frizzier. you can also try a silk pillowcase, i haven't noticed that it has made a difference for me but maybe it will help for you.
posted by katieanne at 2:26 PM on February 11, 2018

Kinky curly curling custard might be worth checking out. I don't have your volume but I have very sensitive skin and it doesn't affect that and a lot goes a long way so I think it may work for longer thicker hair than mine.
posted by typecloud at 2:35 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Try jojoba oil, as it's very similar to skin sebum it shouldn't make you break out. Others you might try are argan or almond; here's a list of non- and low-comedogenic oils via Bustle. Coconut oil led to breakouts for me, too, so now I only use that as an anti-frizz hair conditioning treatment shortly before I shampoo. But jojoba, almond, and apricot I can put on my face without issues, and they work okay used sparingly on my wavy, medium-thick hair once it's dried.

(Unfortunately, of the other products recommended thus far in this thread, as far as I know only the custard is -cone free.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:30 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Aveda Be Curly leave in cream. It makes my hair have ringlets instead of friz. I comb it in with my fingers after I take a shower and squeeze out the water. It’s expensive, but it works well, and it’s possible to resurrect the curls on day two with a bit of water.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:37 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

You might want to try the Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in or the Shea Moisture curl cream.
posted by TwoStride at 4:02 PM on February 11, 2018

I have similar hair, but I dry and style differently.

I think an oily product, maybe in combination with a curl holding product, is what you should consider.

I like this oil from Intelligent Nutrients. I’ve never used it before washing, I rub a bit through my freshly washed hair and touch up dry frizz with it. One bottle has lasted me over a year.

It’s made of natural organic oils and smells so good. You could probably cook with it.
posted by littlewater at 4:04 PM on February 11, 2018

I have curly hair, and I swear by Ouidad products. I use the Climate Control gel, the Botanical Boost leave-in conditioner spray, and the Clear Control pomade. I checked the ingredients for those, and don't see any -cones. They're kind of pricey, but as far as I'm concerned, they're the holy grail of curly hair products. I've tried everything else and nothing works like them.
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:06 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I'm not sure if anyone's ever mentioned this to you, but your tight braid is probably causing breakage and contributing to the appearance of frizziness.
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:09 PM on February 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Have you tried sleeping with your hair in 1-2 braids? I’d start the braid at the nape of your neck rather than doing a french braid; since the hair is pulled back as it dries, it’ll sort of straighten it which will tame it somewhat. I don’t have that much hair, but if I sleep on it wet it’s always kind of crazy and huge in the morning, so I think doing that isn’t doing you any favors.

For products, I second Kinky Curly Knot Today as a leave in conditioner and Ouidad Climate Control gel. I have to be super careful to only use a tiny bit of the Knot Today because too much will weigh my hair down, but it sounds like some weighing down would work well for you. The combination of Knot Today and the Climate Control gel gives me much more defined curls than I get by air drying without product.

I double checked both and I don’t see any silicones. I think the whole Kinky Curly line is silicone free - it’s at Target and the products are good, worth trying IMO!
posted by insectosaurus at 4:31 PM on February 11, 2018

I use LA Looks sports gel-- the blue stuff. I put a good amount into my hair over a leave in conditioner when my hair is pretty wet. It's a pretty strong hold and it does a good job of taming frizz. Once completely dry it's pretty stiff and crunchy, but you can break that up by gently scrunching big handfuls up. It's also dirt cheap and available everywhere so if you try it and it doesn't work for you no loss. My hair is in my profile pic if you want to get an idea of my curl structure and texture.
posted by geegollygosh at 4:49 PM on February 11, 2018

Absolutely try a couple different Kinky Curly products. I have a large quantity of ridiculous caucasian curly hair with at least 3 different curl patterns, and multiple personalities depending on its mood. Given your description of your hair it's probably thicker than mine (mine is only medium thickness but with tons of individual follicles and does usually prompt comments from stylists) and less curly. Given that, I think one of the Kinky Curly products would work for you, start with the custard. You can use a lot of that without anything looking wet/greasy/crunchy.

Also, once you've found a product that even semi-helps with the poof, go get a cut from a stylist who specializes in curly hair, and get all the layers. Just get rid of some of the hair. It'll feel so much better.

Also I'm gonna poke at ruhroh about this because she def has your hair and has it pretty well figured out.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 7:02 PM on February 11, 2018

I think we have similar types of hair, mine has a little bit tighter curls (about 2c according to the naturally curly website) and is crazy thick. First of all I only wash and condition my hair once a week, I currently use bumble and bumble but they are super expensive and I understand the pain. My hair is past my shoulders and pretty close to boob length and I only use a quarter size amount of shampoo and conditioner. One thing that I do like about bumble and bumble is that you can buy smaller sizes that are affordable, to try them out. The main thing that I would look for re: shampoo/conditioner is to find 100 percent sulfate-free shampoo. Trader Joes of all places has a really good shampoo that is hella cheap.

The products I currently use in my hair is the 100% trader joe's coconut oil and Bumble and Bumble don't blow it thick hair styler. It also depends what you want to do with your hair. I use the hair styler if I want to let it down and fly free. If not, then I put in coconut oil and put it up into a bun for the day.

You might also want to search out a good curly hair stylist to give you a good cut that emphasizes your waves. A good hair stylist will also ask you what your daily routine is and give you a good cut that you can style on your own. I resisted this for a long long time and once I finally gave in, I felt so much better about my hair and myself in general.
posted by ruhroh at 7:33 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh I forgot to add: Whatever you do, do NOT comb or brush your hair unless it is wet/in the shower. I have a wide tooth comb that lives in my shower and that is the ONLY time I ever get tangles out. If you brush or comb your hair when it is not wet, that increases the frizz by about gazillion.
posted by ruhroh at 7:44 PM on February 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Huh. Dimethicone— TIL
posted by tilde at 2:36 AM on February 12, 2018

In my experience and from reading, curly hair is really temperamental. Products that work amazing on one person will have no effect on another. I'm black, and my hair is both curly and coily, thicker than humanly imaginable, am always trying to reduce my insane levels of volume and frizzes like it's life depends on it.

My three sisters and I all use different products even though we have the same hair type. I don't use pure coconut oil because it doesn't really absorb into my hair.

I second detangling when wet. I do not comb or brush my hair using tools when dry - I use my fingers which helps keep my curls defined.

I also find sectioning my hair to apply conditioner makes a huge difference as there were always spots I wasn't getting to, even though I felt I got everything, due to the thickness of my hair.
posted by Aranquis at 4:39 AM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercream might help. I haven't used it on caucasian hair but I think you could play around with it and make it work. downside: it's expensive and has a strong fragrance.
posted by Morpeth at 5:20 AM on February 12, 2018

Yes, curly/wavy hair is very temperamental - I have used almost every product (including the discontinued Bb. one - that didn't touch my frizz!) mentioned in this thread and disliked them all! My hair is curlier than yours (3a), but that might be a function of length; your long hair will stretch out what might otherwise be springy curls.

My fall-back product is Curl Keeper. They have a few types - I use the original, but my roommate with wavy hair uses the styling creme. I got a nice set from Target of three travel-size types, so you could probably do the same and try them all. I also have recently tried Briogeo Curl Charisma and liked it a lot.

What kind of towel are you using? if it's just a regular towel, this could definitely be causing your frizz. Even a microfiber towel gives me frizz - using a t-shirt to wrap my hair up is slightly better, but not great. The best for me is to squish it "up" with a t-shirt or even paper towel.
posted by quadrilaterals at 6:21 AM on February 12, 2018

« Older How long can a cooked spinach pie (spanakopita)...   |   Messed up grout in a rental apartment Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.